Have you ever seen Gerbils? Do you find them cute or scary? If you are a big animal lover, then you must find them adorable. But if you are zoophobic like me, they can be a bit scary, right? But you can always pet them if you want.
If you want a gerbil to be your family member, then you must know its food habits. You should make a list of what they like to have and what they do not. Now the good news is you have come to the right place to gather this information. In this article, you will learn what a gerbil’s food diet is, can gerbil eat cucumber or not, and many more.
What is a Gerbil?
A gerbil is an animal that looks like a mouse but with a thin tail and long legs. It is a furry and small animal that is kept as a pet generally. It mainly originated from Asia, Africa, and Southern Russia.
Gerbils in the wild can be found in deserts and arid grasslands. The Mongolian gerbil, which lives on the Mongolian steppe, is the most popular pet gerbil. This big, open grassland comes with sandy soil and little rainfall.
What Can Gerbils Eat?
Gerbils consume the seeds of numerous bulbs, types of grass, and various herbs and leaves in their native habitat. While keeping as a pet, the gerbils require high-quality, balanced food that contains all of the vitamins and minerals that they require. This might be in the shape of a complex mixture of food or a combination of various seeds, but if you buy commercial food of gerbil, you’ll get to know that it has been specially prepared to fulfill their needs. There are a few things that you need to remember. Such:
1. Offer them a variety of foods, including fruits like apples, melon, oranges, and pears and vegetables like fennel, cucumber, pumpkin, carrot, etc., to complement their meal pellets.
2. Read the instructions carefully. Feed your little pet gerbils according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
3. Put food immediately on the sleeping surface to help minimize squabbling, which will also allow them to forage on their own.
4. One of the nutritious snacks of gerbils is pumpkin seeds. Gerbils like sitting up and gnawing on food.
Warning: Avoid giving your gerbil grapes as they can be poisonous for your pet.
Tips: Do not give huge amounts of sunflower seeds as they can lead to obesity for containing fats.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind While Feeding Your Gerbils
1. Eliminate stale food – As gerbils stockpile food in vast stores, everyday gerbilarium checking and discarding any kind of food that has gone bad is necessary. They can store grain up to 1.5 kg in one store in the wild!
2. Watch the amount they can drink and eat on a regular basis; when the measurement changes from their typical level and if their feces get wet or the hindquarters are visible as dirty, take them to your vet right away.
3. Avoid making abrupt food changes because this might irritate their tummies.
4. Provide your gerbils with clean and fresh water regularly. Make sure to clean the nozzle and bottle every time after use.
How Many Cucumbers Can A Gerbil Eat?
Cucumber is a popular meal for rodents and other small animals. It is a type of culinary vegetable, yet it is technically valid to call it a fruit. It is considered healthful since it is low in calories and has almost no fat.
Gerbils benefit from cucumber. It has the correct proportions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Yet, as cucumber contains 95% of water, it is too watery to be a normal meal. Too much will cause diarrhea in your gerbil. Therefore, cucumbers should be provided as a light snack on occasion.
Your gerbil would develop ill if you just fed it cucumber. This is due to a shortage of essential vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium. Your gerbil’s brain health will worsen if it lacks magnesium. So, you can include cucumber on its plate once in a while and in a very small amount.
Health Benefits of Cucumber for Gerbil
By looking at the chart, you will get a clear picture of the health benefits of cucumber. Keep in mind these while feeding your gerbil cucumber.
|High amount of water||Gerbils prefer watery meals, but not in large quantities.|
|Low in protein||Cucumbers have a small quantity of protein, yet it is plenty for your pet.|
|High in fiber||Fiber aids in the correct functioning of the digestive tract. The gut becomes ill when there is insufficient fiber.|
|Low in calories||Cucumber will not cause your gerbil to gain weight.|
|Low in fat||Gerbils require just trace quantities of fat to thrive since fatty meals are scarce in their natural habitat.|
Nutrient Values of Cucumber
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These are the three types of energy found in food. The quantities of these three important macronutrients vary between foods. Similarly, each species needs a particular amount of each to flourish.
Your pet gerbil may become ill if the percentage is incorrect. Cucumbers, on the other hand, have about the proper quantity of each nutrient for your pet gerbils. Water is the one thing they have an abundance of.
Here’s a table from Nutrition Value that shows how much each cucumber has:
|Nutrient Value||Per 100g Amount|
Cucumbers, however, are not a suitable choice as a staple food for your gerbil. Your gerbil is unlikely to need to shed weight. It requires nutrients that will supply adequate energy for the entire day.
What Human Food Can Gerbil Eat?
A gerbil should only consume fruits and vegetables, as well as three or four different types of unsalted nuts. Gerbils are desert animals that developed in settings significantly different from yours or mine. They have quite distinct digestive systems that are designed for a desert climate, so they can’t eat many of the items that humans may contentedly snack on with no negative consequences. Processed foods, in particular, such as crisps, cakes, sweets, and chocolate, can upset your dogs’ tummies and create serious dental issues.
Although you can give your gerbils the following fruits and vegetables if you want. But obviously in the right amount. Remember, excess of nothing is good.
- Broad Beans
- Pumpkin seeds
- Unsalted peanut
While feeding your gerbils, it’s essential to be cautious. Don’t rush, as this will affect the gerbil’s health.
Besides human food, gerbils can have these foods as well:
Tips: For providing your gerbil with extra protein, you can also include Boiled or scrambled eggs in their meals.
What Should Gerbils Not Eat?
As we have already mentioned earlier, the digestive system of gerbils is very different from ours. So, we can not give them everything to eat without doing a little research. So, here are we, presenting for you what foods you should ignore for giving to your gerbils as they can be dangerous and poisonous as well:
- Citrus Foods
We recommend you consult a vet before giving gerbils any food besides their conventional food items. But, as you already know, ‘Prevention is better than cure.’
How to Feed Gerbil
We have to maintain certain ways of everything. Feeding gerbils has its own ways. If you want to keep your gerbil’s cage clean, then you should follow these steps. We hope this will help you to build your gerbil a clean environment:
- In order to keep the gerbil’s habitat tidy, buy a feeding dish.
- To encourage your gerbil to forage, scatter food everywhere inside the cage.
- You should get a bottle of water that can be attached to the side of the cage and is designed exclusively for providing water to tiny rodents.
- Purchase a gerbil food mix. The primary meal for your gerbil should be a premade blend of seeds, pellets, grains, and dried veggies.
- Create a feeding station in your gerbil’s cage. The food and water containers should be placed in the corner of the gerbil’s cage. Gerbils prefer to keep their potty region apart from food and water.
- Maintain your gerbil’s diet regularly.
Tips: Do not buy a mixture of high-fat seeds, as this will interrupt the gerbil’s digestive system.
Starting from a cat to gerbils, all animals are adorable in their own way, especially if they are your pet. We know how much your pet matters to you. Hence, we have tried our level best to provide you with all the information about gerbil’s food habits and much more so that you don’t have to struggle with it. We hope this article has helped you. For more information, stay with us, and don’t forget to leave a comment below whether this has come of any help to you or not. Constructive criticism is always appreciable.
As an animal lover since childhood, Paul has an excessive amount of kindness for animals and really feels about them. Feeding stray dogs and passing time with them is one of the things Paul loves to do in his free time.
Paul studied Veterinary Medicine at Murdoch University. He is a Speaker who talks about animal welfare at various events. You will find him sharing here his valuable knowledge as well as experience.
Currently, Paul is working on his first book to publish where you will see the reflection of his 10 years of experience with animals and pet psychology.